Friday, December 31, 2021

On Top Of The World -- December 31, 2021

I completely missed this one. From a reader. Link here.

Also On Top Of The World

It must also feel like being on top of the world for AOC who left claustrophobic, overcast, dreary Washington, DC, where everyone, if on camera, is masked, to take a vacation in sunny, open and free, maskless Florda. And for her photo op? Enjoying a martini with her boyfriend, at a sidewalk cafe.

Also On Top Of The World

Warren Buffett: his BRK--B shares appreciated 32% over the past year, from 227 one year ago to 299 at the close today.

Week 52: December 26, 2021 -- January 1, 2021

Top story of the week:

Top international non-energy story:

Top international energy story:

Top national non-energy story:

Top national energy story:

The Sonic Patty Melt -- Tiny Naylor -- Googie Architecture -- American State Bank, Williston, ND -- A Rabbit Hole To Keep You Entertained On New Year's Eve -- December 31, 2021

 Link here.

Wiki entry.

Tiny Naylor's Restaurant.

Googie architecture.

Flashback: bringing down the bank in Williston, ND. Ultimate Googie architecture?

Notes From All Over -- December 31, 2021


Later, 8:30 p.m. CT: wow, talk about a mismatched semifinal game, Alabama vs Cincinnati -- one could see where this game was headed before the first drive by Alabama was even completed. As for the second game, it appears one team failed to show up. The good news: most fans were able to spend more time with their families on New Year's Eve knowing the outcome of both games before the end of the first quarter.

Later, 6:52 p.m. CT: in the original note I mentioned that the largest Buc-eels in the world was outside New Braunfels, TX. I mentioned that to my granddaughter. She replied, "not for long." World's largest Buc-ee's is under construction in Tennessee:

  • construction began earlier this autumn (2021); to be completed in 2023;
  • in Sevier County; exit 407, I-40, "gateway" for Great Smoky Mountains National Park; Kodak, TN
  • 120 fueling positions (compared with 60 at the New Braunfels, TX, site
  • 250-foot long car wash:
  • 74,000-square-foot development;
  • the first Bucc-ee's in Tennessee was recently announced, located in Crossville, TN

What I find most interesting about this: the close relationship between Tennessee and Texas that began more than a hundred years ago continues today.

Original Note

Betty White: reportedly dies at 99. 

Vanguard: if you're having problems with accessing Vanguard, you are not the only one.  Bogle's website has been down off and on (mostly off) for the past six days.

XOM: it's going to be one of the bigger investing stories in 2022.

  • whisper numbers here; let me know if one can find a company whose expected quarterly earnings will grow more than XOM's with their next report (year/year); for XOM: 5,733%.
  • SEC filings suggest earnings will be better than Wall Street thinks; Barron's.
  • reaps windfall with energy rally; Bloomberg;
  • higher gasoline prices to boost profts by as much as $1.1 billion; MarketWatch.
  • quarterly earnings per share, 2006 - 2021,  XOM; macrotrends. This could be one of XOM's best quarters in recent history;
  • XOM to post fourth consecutive quarterly (increase) in profit; HartEnergy;

UNP: closed at a 52-week high, after raising dividend twice in one year. Closed just above $252.

Pelosi: I have no idea why folks are upset with news of her recent equity trading. Has she not provided us her crystal ball? You may not like Pelosi, but you might want to look at her picks. It's not as if she doesn't know what's happening. For the record, she invested in Google, Roblox, and Disney, hardly earth-shattering.

  • Roblox: huge

Pelosi's home state: it's generally agreed that California could see $6-gasoline next year (2022).

Lutheran Social Services: declares bankruptcy. Won’t follow. 

Richest people in the world: nice video. Speaks volumes about the Bakken, but in a way most folks won't connect.

Buc-ee's New Braunfels, TX: the world's largest gas station.

TSLA: one of my predictions for 2022 -- China will present formidable challenges for Tesla. Today this: China will cut subsidy standard for new energy vehicles by 30% y/y in 2022; CN Wire. So, nine of ten predictions yet to follow.

Flaring: when I heard that AOC had departed NYC for a sunny vacation I assumed she was going to Iraq to check in on flaring; alas she went to maskless Florida. Iraq: flares more natural gas in ONE year than California produces in 3.5 years. California banned flaring in 1939.

  • California imported almost 50 million bbls of crude oil from Iraq in 202
  • California has increased its dependence on oil from Iraq by almost 70% since 2017 (almost 30 million bbls)

US equities: best sector in 2021? Energy. Up almost 50% in the past year.

Flashback: bringing down the bank in Williston, ND. Ultimate Googie architecture?

DAO: new "buzzword" for 2021

First group "financial / economic" indicators:

  • 10-Year Treasury: link here. 1.512% -- trending down.
  • DXY: link here. 95.60 -- trending down.
  • Silver: link  here. $23.31 -- trending up.
  • CBOE volatility index: link here. 17.5, up slightly but remains at the lower end.

Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3013556749

No wells coming off the confidential list today.

RBN Energy: the top ten RBN energy prognostications for 2021 -- scorecard. 

Finally! It’s the last day of 2021, which means it’s time for our annual Top 10 Energy Prognostications blog, the long-standing RBN tradition where we look into our crystal ball to see what the upcoming year has in store for energy markets. And unlike many forecasters, we also look into the rear-view mirror to see how we did with last year’s predictions. That’s right! We actually check our work! And that’s what we’ll do in today’s scorecard blog. Then on Monday we’ll lay out what we see as the most important developments of the year ahead. But today it’s time to look back.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Nothing Of Interest On Last Daily Activity Report For 2021 -- December 30, 2021

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3013556649

Another Judge With Common Sense -- December 30, 2021

Link here.

Gasoline Demand -- Finally Meets GasBuddy's Projections -- December 30, 2021

Link here.

I remember pre-Covid, looking for 10 million bopd gasoline demand. We're getting very close once again. First week, July, 2021, 10.043 million barrels.

Nice Christmas Present -- Thank You, WMB -- December 30, 2021

I'm not sure whom to thank, ET or WMB?

Link here.

WMB is flat today. Has had a huge year.

US Sets A New Record -- Number Of New Coronavirus Cases In US Sets All-Time High -- Most Vaccinated And Tested Population In The World -- December 30, 2021

Factors pushing the price of gasoline higher and their relative importance. 

Thank You, Joe, Et Al

Just think, had we just let nature takes it course, this would be all behind us. Having said that, this certainly looks like the beginning of the end.

Link here.


The US reports almost 500,000 new coronavirus cases -- sets a new world record. Why is the most-vaccinated country setting the new all-time record? China and India each have way more people than the US and neither comes close to "our" record-setting numbers. 

Brandon sets a new record. 

President Biden hands pandemic back to the states and heads to his Delaware home [I don't think the "national psyche" understands what has just happened; and, quite frankly, ever seen a president walk away from a national problem so abruptly].

Just Like A Cicada? December 30, 2021

The market is open tomorrow, link here.

Under NYSE Rule 7.2, which governs the exchange’s holiday observances, the stock markets close on the Friday before a holiday that falls on a Saturday and on the Monday after one that falls on a Sunday — “unless unusual business conditions exist, such as the ending of a monthly or yearly accounting period.”

That clause means the markets won’t close on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, because it marks the end of a monthly, quarterly and yearly accounting period, requiring a full day’s trading. This last happened 11 years ago, when January 1, 2011, fell on a Saturday.

My hunch: it's gonna be one huge party on those trading floors tomorrow. Just think, if Louis Rukeyser were still alive -- tomorrow night -- Friday night on PBS ... what will be get instead ... I can only imagine. 

Bowl games, all day today, starting at 11:30 a.m. ET. The only one worth watching? #12 Pitt vs #10 Michigan State, 7:00 p.m.

A Musical Interlude

Mix, Dance

Notes From All Over -- The New England Edition -- December 30, 2021

Tesla: huge recall. Links everywhere.

Lake Tahoe: record snow hits Lake Tahoe. Following a year of both extreme heat and drought, Lake Tahoe has seen a record-breaking amount of snow this December, according to the U.C. Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab. Link here

The Tahoe area has seen 210 inches of snow since the beginning of the month, the lab, based in Soda Springs, California, reported Wednesday. That makes this month the third snowiest on record and the snowiest December ever, per tracking from the lab that started in 1970.

If weather modeling holds up, it's possible December could also overtake the current No. 2 record holder, February 2019, which saw a whopping 221 inches of snow.

Typically about 110 inches of snow will have fallen by Jan. 1 in a given water year, which begins on Oct. 1. But, so far, 2021 has already seen 264 inches of snowfall, putting the region at 258% of its average for this point in the year and breaking the 51-year-old October through December snowfall record of 260 inches set in 1970.

Cape Cod: and so it goes. We have fond memories of Cape Cod. We spent four years in the Boston area not so long ago. Learned to love Cape Cod.

Best summary ever: New England is an energy crisis waiting to happen. Link here.

While the US has become the largest producer of natural gas and an ever-larger exporter of LNG, the country does not produce LNG carriers. Since there are no US LNG carriers, New England cannot benefit from the build-out of LNG export facilities along the Gulf of Mexico, despite having significant LNG import facilities like the one in Everett, Massachusetts.  That means New England is in the same bidding pool as Europe and Asia. Amazingly, most LNG imports to the Everett terminal have come from Trinidad and Tobago! Instead of simply building pipelines to its land neighbors, New England pays for boats to sail more than 2,000 miles – burning fossil fuels and polluting the oceans as they do so – and pays a substantially higher price for the privilege. 

John Madden

Link here.

He was a football savant—named head coach of the Oakland Raiders at age 32, he won a Super Bowl in the 1976 season, and didn’t have a losing year in a full decade on the sideline. On TV, he never talked down to his audience. Football is a complex sport, often described through stiff wartime lingo, but Madden cut through the bombast and made it sound like backyard fun, using newfangled Telestrator technology to diagram schemes as if he was sketching them in the sand. 

He was always gently selling—the playmaking, the atmospherics, the coaches, the stars, and especially the lesser-known fellows on the line, because he’d been one of those. Madden loved hirsute centers, rumply ends and roly-poly nose tackles, and on any given Sunday, he’d make household names out of them, too. He began selecting an All-Madden Team, full of his kind of guys, tough men who played with broken thumbs and ate bolt screws for breakfast. 

He was both a critical phenomenon and a relentless populist. Madden on TV spoke like he was sitting next to you in an airport bar, except if you knew anything about Madden, you knew he’d never be in the airport. He always took the train, then a customized bus—a choice owing to claustrophobia and a bad episode on a flight while with the Raiders.


I quit watching the Clemson - Iowa game early on; same with the Oregon - Oklahoma game. 

Really, really disappointing.

But then I caught a replay of the #1 NFL game of all time, called by John Madden. 

Now I understand why some consider Roethlisberger a demi-god. 

Wiki entry.

The NBC television network broadcast attracted an average U.S. audience of 98.7 million viewers, making it the most watched Super Bowl in history at that time.

This game was ranked #4 on NFL Top 10 on NFL Network for Top 10 Greatest Games of All Time and ranked #1 for Top 10 Super Bowls.

WTI Hits $77; EOG Breakeven At $30, Covers Dividend At $36; One Well Coming Off Confidential List -- December 30, 2021

Dow hits record high.

First group "financial / economic" indicators:

Spain: Alcoa to halt aluminum production at Spanish plant for two years, citing high energy costs. Bloomberg

  • for two years ... this plant is closed
  • aluminum is up 40%; still, they chose to stop production
  • energy intensive industry will inevitably shift from Europe to Texas
  • Spain: fourth EU country slapping ban on new fossil fuel producers
  • down, down, down they go ... like dominoes

COP: ex-div tomorrow.

Mexico to end oil exports in 2023. Link to Charles Kennedy

Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3113556649

Thursday, December 30, 2021: 87 for the month, 116 for the quarter, 342 for the year:

  • 36995, conf, CLR, LCU Ralph 9-27H1,

RBN Energy: top ten RBN blogs of 2021 -- energy transition slams into energy reality

How do you sum up a year like 2021? It was good times for the economic health of producers and midstreamers alike. Prices were up, as were production and flows. But 2021 also brought along more than its share of chaos, including disruptive market events like Winter Storm Uri’s deep freeze and Europe’s natural gas crisis, along with general perplexity around all things clean, green, renewable, and certified. At RBN we take a different approach to assessing common industry themes. Namely, we examine the events and trends that the market considers the most important — crowd-sourced market intelligence, if you will. We can do that because every weekday we post a blog covering a single topic and blast it to almost 35,000 people, and we scrupulously monitor the website hit rate to see which blogs garner the most interest. Then, at the end of the year, we look back to see which topics rank at the top of the hit parade. That score reveals a lot about major market trends. So today we dive into our Top 10 blogs based on the number of website hits over the past year to see what we can learn about where things stand today and what’s up next.

So what was the #1 theme for 2021? Well, the title of today’s blog has already given away the answer. The most prevalent issue resulting in high hit rates across the 255 blogs we posted this year was the collision of the energy transition into energy reality — the challenge of moving toward decarbonization and at the same time making sure markets have enough energy to survive the transition. It’s the energy markets conundrum of the 2020s and beyond. We must live, work, and produce hydrocarbon-based products the way the world works today, while at the same time preparing for and investing in the world to which we’re headed. A world that a lot of folks believe means net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and no more hydrocarbons. It’s like a mild case of schizophrenia; we live in one reality, but we must think in terms of an entirely different future reality. Already we’ve seen evidence of the implications: very messy energy markets. Given this as our theme, let’s see what the top blogs of 2021 can tell us about what we’ve observed so far and what we might expect in the coming year. Just like any year-end Top 10 list, we’ll start with #10 and work our way up to #1.

Weekly US Days Of Supply Of Crude Oil Excluding SPR -- December 30, 2021

Link here

26.7 days. 

Not trivial.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Drilling In Mercer County -- December 29, 2021

See this post for background

A reader sent me this photo today with the caption:

Wed, Dec 29 at 8:48 PM -- Nabors B05 or Nabors B5

Rigged up in Mercer county just north of the Morton county line on highway 49 a couple miles or so. 
I can't find the Nabors B5 rig at any of the NDIC sites (well search, confidential well, daily activity reports. I'll keep looking ... see if I can identify the well. 

The size of these rigs never cease to amaze me and, in this case, look at the small town that has popped up around this rig to drill a single well.

Truly amazing.

Record Snow Out West -- December 29, 2021

$4.00 Gasoline And The Keystone XL -- December 29, 2021

It's pretty much a given that all credible analysts argue that unleaded, regular gasoline could average $4.00 / gallon next spring (2022). 

For those who understand the pricing of gasoline in this country, one can connect the dots back to 2005 when the Keystone XL was first publicly proposed. 

It's a complicated story, not easily explained to the American public.

But at the end of the day, all discussions about $4.00-gasoline circle back to the Keystone XL.

A Request For Help From Readers -- December 29, 2021

Can any reader remember if any major US airport has ever been shut down, not because of weather or terrorism, but because not enough workers showed up for work?

DFW (Dallas-Ft Worth International Airport) has just been closed to all incoming flights because there are not enough workers

I have not fact-checked this, but I have that from a very, very reliable source. Local news. 

Following this story: all liquor stores in the DFW area will be closed this Saturday and Sunday. 

Boy Scouts: be prepared. 

Product Placement

Apple iPad: it just works. 

I was challenged with another "tech" problem earlier today; the iPad solved it for me. It just worked for me. It did what I wanted it to do. Didn't need a manual. Intuitive.

Sometimes I think Apple is transferring all its software folks to mobile and letting desktops twist in the wind. 

The iPad: it just works. 

Alamo Bowl Tonight

Oklahoma vs Oregon.


Sophia is with her family on the famed River Walk in San Antonio this week /weekend. 

Long story. But that's where Sophia and Corky are tonight. 

Off The Net In A Few Minutes

Bike ride before it gets too dark to pick up a rotisserie chicken for dinner, and I bet it's less expensive than a frozen "organic young chicken" in the back of the store.

Local Covid

This is great! Adult daughter -- ph.d. in nursing -- shows up for work today -- one of the employees tested positive for Covid -- the whole staff is off for the next ten days! 

Not exactly "off" -- they will work from home, but that's as good as being off in my book.

Long live Covid-19. More family time. Wow, what a great country. And 80-degree weather -- until winter hits this weekend for a couple of days.

Turn Up The Volume

Take On Me, A-Ha

No New Permits; XTO Reports A Dry Hole Due To Cementing Issues; Re-Drilled -- December 29, 2021

US equities:

  • Dow and S&P 500 trading near all-time highs
  • Dow: intra-day high -- 36,571.55
  • S&P 500: intra-day high -- 4,804.06; apparently closed higher for the 70th time this year, 4,793.06.
  • individual equities of interest
    • AAPL: flat but slightly green
    • SRE: held above $131
    • UNP: closed near its 52-week high; recently raised dividend second time in one year;

Alex Kimani's three energy picks for 2022:

  • COP
    • BoA with a $67 price target;
  • Cenovus Energy
    • C$14.50 price target;
  • APA
    • many irons in the fire around the globe

BRK-B: 30% appreciation from one year ago.

Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3113566648

No new permits.

Hess put a large number of old producing Madison wells on the "abandoned" list. 

Dry hole:

  • 35151, XTO, Bullberry Federal 24X-2D, Lost Bridge, will plug and abandon; cementing issues were encountered on the well. Re-drilled as the 24X-2DR (#35789); 
  • other wells on that pad, all drilled, but not completed:
    • 35789, SI/NCW, XTO, Bullberry Federal 24X-2DR, Lost Bridge,
    • 35150, SI/NCW, XTO, Bullberry Federal 24X-2H2, Lost Bridge,
    • 35154, SI/NCW, XTO, Bullberry Federal 24X-2G, Lost Bridge,
    • 35155, SI/NCW, XTO, Bullberry Federal 24X-2C, Lost Bridge,

A reminder: these wells are in the immediate vicinity of this well -- from an earlier post, note production in September, 2020, below.

MRO is on a roll. This is really quite incredible. Maybe more on this later, but for now, the well:

  • 32434, drl/NC-->4,679, MRO, Stillwell 21-13H, 33-025-03101, Lost Bridge, first production, 8/20; t--; cum 215K 9/20; fracked, 8/19/20 - 8/25/20; 7.9 million gallons of water; 81.2% fresh water by mass; 6.4% produced water by mass; production; note 90K in first full month of production; 215K in three months. Early in the boom, EURs of 300K were the expected; 403K 8/21; F;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Global Warming Smacks The Bakken -- December 29, 2021

Williston's Spring Lake Park Holiday Lights Drive fireworks: postponed due to frigid temperatures in the region. Link here.

In Six Months, From $70 To $17 -- Robbin' The Hood -- December 29, 2021

Link here

$73 last August, 2021 -- just five months ago.

$17, today.

Meanwhile, UNP, hits a 52-week high. Then, look at the dividend increases, link here, from 97 cents to $1.18 / share / quarter in less than a year (a 22% increase):

Then compare to COP which recently cut its dividend in half.

One Really Needs To Re-Consider The Definition Of The Word "Treason" -- December 29, 2021


January 2, 2022: even the EIA appears to be happy with the "Fauci effect." 

Original Post

Link here.

EIA's Weekly Petroleum Report -- US Implied Oil Demand -- All-Time High -- December 29, 2021

Before we get to the EIA report: US implied oil demand on a four-week basis just hit an all-time high for this time of the year. Link here.  

Link here.

  • US crude oil in storage decreased by an impressive 3.6 million bbls. WTI: up slightly on news.
  • US crude oil in storage stands at 420.0 million bbls; 7% below five-year average
  • US crude oil imports averaged 6.8 million bbls; yawn; increased by 0.6 million bbls; four-week average of 6.5 million bpd is almost 14% more than same four-week period last year;
  • US refiners are operating at 89.7% of their operable capacity; yawn
  • distillate fuel inventories decreased by 1.7 million bbls; 14% below the five-year average
  • jet fuel product supplied was up 20.6% compared with same four-week period last year;

US crude oil and oil products in storage, including SPR:

This was part of President Biden's plan to lower gasoline prices. Much of the decrease in US storage was due to the release of "our" strategic reserve as ordered by President Biden. Most of our "strategic reserve" released crude oil went to China and India. An example of strategic thinking.

Predictions For 2022 -- The Original List Was Completed Prior To Year-End 2021

JC Oviedo: link here.

Mine, in progress, not ranked in any particular order:

  • EV manufacturers will experience a "come-to-Jesus" moment; Chinese challenges for Tesla may be insurmountable;
    • there will be a relative glut of new cars by mid-summer as supply chain obstacles are resolved, and floodgate of 2022 cars released as well as beginning surge of EV -- prediction added January 3, 2022; prices may not be much better but more than enough new cars available;
  • WTI trends toward $90, but won't go over $100;
  • gasoline prices will dominate mid-term discussions; GOP re-takes the US House, US Senate
  • no major military action in the Pacific; in eastern Europe; in the Mideast; or on the Korean peninsula; another year of peace;
  • Covid-19 fades away; Omicron was the beginning of the end;
  • AAPL: first company to have a market cap of $3 trillion+
  • the Bakken "maintains"; 
    • active rigs trend toward 40; production returns to 1.2 million bopd;
    • EOG announces early EOR results
  • Fed will make only one rate increase, not three as telegraphed near end of 2021
    • implies increased risk of recession if more than one rate increase;
    • but only way to stop inflation from running out of control may be increased number of rate changes even if that increases risk of recession
  • NFL has best year in history; NBA not so much
    • Dallas Cowboys get past first round but don't make it to the Super Bowl
  • Jamie Dimon's initial thoughts on cryptocurrency will turn out to be correct
  • the milliondollarway blog will be better than ever

The one "issue" that completely confounds me: how much crude oil the US will have in storage measured in "number of days" through 2022.

  • if week-after-week, number of days of crude oil supply stays above 30 days, the "availability of oil" is a non-issue.;
  • if "we" stay between 22 days and 28 days, moving around an average of 26 days, plus or minus a couple of days, it's pretty much the same thing -- a yawner;
  • but if we get to 24 days and the trend is definitely downward, one would expect crude oil prices (and gasoline prices) to start going higher; 
  • for me the "breaking point" is 20 days AND a consistent downward trend, week-after-week
  • a second aspect of all this correlates with this maxim: the price of oil is not determined by the average price of all oil available, but the price of the last bbl being sold, if that makes sense -- the corollary? Once we hit go below a certain number of days of crude oil in storage, the price of oil won't move linearly with the drop in the number of days of oil storage. The price of oil will surge, not week/week, but day/day. Imagine walking toward the edge of a cliff .... that last step is not like the penultimate step before going over the edge ...  
  • days of supply is incredibly complicated:
    • first of all, it's a prediction
    • second, large number of variables, each of which by itself, can be incredibly difficult to predict
    • completely unpredictable geopolitical events can have huge effects
    • policy decisions by oil-producing countries can have huge effects, and some policy decisions can result in unintended consequences (e.g., Biden's decision to release oil from the SPR)
    • all one can do is pull out a yellow legal-size piece of paper, draw a line down the middle and put supply issues on one side and demand issues on the other other side (the most recent, perhaps best example -- the announcement by Mexico that as of 2023, that country will no longer export any of its oil

Notes From All Over -- Waiting For The Market To Open -- December 29, 2021

JNJ at SeekingAlpha: interesting update

Johnson & Johnson currently operates the company with three separate segments:

  1. Consumer Health
  2. Pharmaceutical
  3. Medical Devices

During the company's most recent quarterly report, these segments reported the following revenues:

  1. Consumer Health = $3.7B
  2. Pharmaceutical = $13.0B
  3. Medical Devices = $6.6B

The breakup of two separate businesses will have the consumer health segment, which owns products such as: Band-Aid, Listerine, Aveeno, Neutrogena, and Tylenol among other products.

The second business, although it will have much more risk, will be made up of the faster growing pharmaceutical and medical devices segments.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site.  Do not make any investment, financial, job, career, travel, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here.  

Apple / Honda Civic: link here

Vaccine passports don't help: link here. This article does not discuss it but I now understand why herd immunity is not yet working for Covid-19, and it may not ever work for this virus. One wonders if things might have been different had Covid-19 caused a disfiguring rash. Interesting thought. 

Montana State at NDSU: January 8, 2022 -- be sure to put this on your google calendar with a reminder.

Ford > GM: Ford's market cap exceeded that of GM's recently but this morning in extended traded, GM is still slightly above that of Ford. But F has doubled over the past year, one of the strongest market performers in the last three to four months.

More global warming for southern California:

The second of two storms forecast for this week is expected to hit Southern California today, bringing more precipitation to close out a wet December and likely providing more white stuff for skiers. 
Forecasters expect 1 to 3 inches of rain for coastal and valley areas, with 1½ to 2 inches in the mountains of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The area could also see significant snowfall at high elevations. Record-breaking snowfall hit the Sierra Nevada on Monday — a much-needed surprise for the bone-dry West, where only months ago, officials declared a state of drought emergency.

TILT: Mexican apples. One of the first words I learned on Duolingo? Manzana. Why? Last night on Perry Mason, season 5, episode 15, "The Case of the Roving River" began with a scene at the fictional "Manzana airport." Yo quiero comer un manzana. Tu tienes manzanas? Yo necesito manzanas. Me gustan mucho los manzanas. LOL. Apples from southern California? From Mexico? On another note, "The Case of the Roving River" reminded me of the "riparian" controversy in the Bakken. Fascinating. The court ruled in favor of the original landowner in that case. 

I guess we will quit here; the market has opened. Good luck to all. 

AAPL: touch and go, but AAPL is back up over $180 in early morning trading. 

Samsung: implies another supply chain disruption. Overnight Samsung announces it will "temporarily adjust operations" at their Xi'an, China, facility. First question: where do American automobile manufacturers get their chips?

UNP: whoo-hoo! Hit an intra-day high.

Whiting Reports One Well Today -- Unremarkable -- December 29, 2021

First group "financial / economic" indicators:

WTI: $75.66

Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3213566648

Wednesday, December 29, 2021: 86 for the month, 115 for the quarter, 341 for the year:

  • 37032, conf, Whiting, KR State 13-16-2TFHU, Sanish, first production, 9/21; t--; cum 22K 10/21;

RBN Energy: For alternative transportation fuels, a road crowded with possibilities, part 2

Countries around the world are formulating and refining their strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Their policies target numerous areas such as stationary emissions, electricity production, and transportation. Within the transportation sector, one aspect that has spurred quite a bit of investment relates to reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. The low-carbon fuel policies that are in place today, coupled with those being evaluated for the future, have the potential to incentivize the development of a wide range of “greener” alternatives to petroleum-based fuels in the regions where they are adopted. In today’s RBN blog, we discuss highlights from Part 2 of our Drill Down report on low-carbon fuels, focusing this time on ethanol, biodiesel, sustainable aviation fuel, and hydrogen, and the government policies that help support them.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

John Madden, Dead, At Age 85 -- Details Pending -- December 28, 2021

Link here.

He was a football savant—named head coach of the Oakland Raiders at age 32, he won a Super Bowl in the 1976 season, and didn’t have a losing year in a full decade on the sideline. On TV, he never talked down to his audience. Football is a complex sport, often described through stiff wartime lingo, but Madden cut through the bombast and made it sound like backyard fun, using newfangled Telestrator technology to diagram schemes as if he was sketching them in the sand. 

He was always gently selling—the playmaking, the atmospherics, the coaches, the stars, and especially the lesser-known fellows on the line, because he’d been one of those. Madden loved hirsute centers, rumply ends and roly-poly nose tackles, and on any given Sunday, he’d make household names out of them, too. He began selecting an All-Madden Team, full of his kind of guys, tough men who played with broken thumbs and ate bolt screws for breakfast. 

He was both a critical phenomenon and a relentless populist. Madden on TV spoke like he was sitting next to you in an airport bar, except if you knew anything about Madden, you knew he’d never be in the airport. He always took the train, then a customized bus—a choice owing to claustrophobia and a bad episode on a flight while with the Raiders.

Who Knows? December 28, 2021

With regard to energy right now, the most fascinating story is who will turn out to be "right" when the crude oil story is told in 2022.

The forecasts are across the entire continuum, all the way from those who argue there is a huge supply / demand imbalance that will drive crude oil prices back down to $40.

Others say the demand / supply imbalance will be so severe in mid- to late-2022 that we will see $160-crude oil. 

The "technical data," the fundamentals, history suggest we should see significantly higher prices for crude oil in 2022, but at the same time, "we" always seem to find a way to muddle through and the "powers that be" will be able to manage any "shortage" of crude oil. I have absolutely nothing to contribute to this conversation. It will simply be fascinating to watch. But I am investing as if the "technical data," the fundamentals, history turn out to be correct.

Danger zone.

Danger Zone, Kenny Loggins

The Beginning Of The End Of Covid-19 -- December 28, 2021

Wow, I'm in a good mood. I think I mentioned this once before on the blog, or maybe it was in a sidebar, an e-mail conversation with a reader. 

With regard to the whole Covid-19 pandemic, there are three arenas, but unlike the typical Venn diagram, the three arenas do not overlap:

  • the science;
  • the "Fauci" component; and,
  • the politics.

Some might argue the three arenas do overlap. Maybe they do. Doesn't matter. Whatever.

Up until recently, all three arenas were continuing to grow in size with no indication of any "end" in sight.

Until "now." 

The political arena is yet to play itself out, all the way, perhaps, to the US Supreme Court ruling on Federal and OSHA mandates.

The "Fauci" component is imploding. Dr Fauci, himself, is most likely about ready to go down in flames in the eyes of the American public and perhaps even the mainstream media. Quarantines lasting two weeks long and all the other policies nearly destroyed the global economy, and now it turns out, like most respiratory viral infections, Covid-19 required maybe five days of quarantine. Imagine how different things would have been these past two years had five-day quarantines, along with some other less draconian policy changes, been the norm. In a "just" world Dr Fauci would be held accountable. He will simply fade away.

That leaves the third arena, the science. This "thing" is literally coming to an end in front of our eyes. The NFL struck the first blow. 

Elsewhere, I've linked supporting documentation that "proves" this is all over, literally and figuratively, and perhaps some day I will link that site. But not now.

For now, this is absolutely fascinating. This is truly the beginning of the end of Covid-19 as a virus of which to be afraid. But, wow, I wish we knew more how Spanish flu simply disappeared following the late, fourth peak, occurring in January - April 1921.

I'm in a great mood for two reasons with regard to what's going on with Covid-19 right now. First of all, I'm glad, that as an infectious disease, it is the beginning of the end, regardless how that occurs.

The second reason I'm in a good mood is because the evidence is now staring us in the face, as they say, proving that the pandemic is in its final stages. This will be absolutely fascinating. 

I'm not saying the second and third arenas ("the Fauci component" and the politics) won't prolong the agony, all I'm saying is that this virus has pretty much burned itself out as a virus of which to be concerned. 

Scientists, both medical scientists and political scientists, have learned a lot from this virus.

End Of The Line, The Traveling Wilburys

That would be enough to say, I suppose, but think about this. The Spanish fly mysteriously abruptly ended in 1921, to be followed by the "Roaring Twenties."

The Young And Beautiful, Lana Del Rey

From the wiki link:

The spirit of the Roaring Twenties was marked by a general feeling of novelty associated with modernity and a break with tradition, through modern technology such as automobiles, moving pictures, and radio, which brought "modernity" to a large part of the population. Formal decorative frills were shed in favor of practicality in both daily life and architecture. At the same time, jazz and dancing rose in popularity, in opposition to the mood of World War I. As such, the period often is referred to as the Jazz Age. 

Now, 2021:

  • jazz and dancing, music: ?
  • modern technology such as automobiles: EVs
  • moving pictures and radio which brought "modernity" to the masses: AR-based hardware --> the metaverse

History may not repeat itself but it does rhyme. 

What an exciting time to be alive. 

I'm back to watching CNBC. I had not watched it since the flash crash, "Thanksgiving Friday," with minor exceptions. Today, I watched a little bit, not much, but I can hardly wait to watch what tomorrow brings. I'm not sure if Jim Cramer is taking the week off; I will be disappointed if he's not there, at least on Friday.

It's too bad Louis Rukeyser is no longer around.

A Closer Look At Slawson's Three New Permits -- December 28, 2021

Slawson doesn't drill many wells in the Bakken, but when they do, they drill some great wells.

Three new permits, #38725 - #38727, inclusive:

  • Operator: Slawson
  • Field: Big Bend (Mountrail)
  • Comments: Slawson has permits for two Sauger Federal wells and one Cannonball Federal well, all in SWSW 22-152-91; to be sited 550 FSL and 525 FWL and 625 FWL;

From this pad:

  • Sauger Federal wells run north.
  • Cannonball Federal wells run north.

Note: these new permits are for wells in Big Bend oil field. The older Sauger Federal / Cannonball Federal wells are clearly in the Big Bend oil field, also, but their scout tickets show these wells in Van Hook oil field, a field several miles to the south.

Wells of interest, along section line, 22/27-152-91:

To the west:

  • 18717, 1,306, Slawson, Sauger Federal 1-22H, Van Hook, t4/10; cum 421K 10/21;
  • 18170, 1,382, Slawson, Cannonball Federal 1-27-34HH, Van Hook, t5/10; cum 490K 10/21;

To the east:

  • 21039, 626, Slawson, Sauger Federal 3-22H, Van Hook, t11/11; cum 265K 10/21;
  • 21038, 454, Slawson, Cannonball Federal 3-27-34HH, Van Hook, t12/11; cum 549K 10/21;
  • 20099, 1,080, Slawson, Cannonball Federal 2-27-34HH, Van Hook, t11/11; cum 406K 10/21;

Parent well sited in NENE 22-152-91:

  • 20107, 1,060, Slawson, Sauger Federal 2-22H, Van Hook, t11/11; cum 384K 10/21; 

Slawson With Three New Permits; WTI Hits $76 -- December 28, 2021

Global warming wallops California: nine feet of snow buries California mountains as brutal cold invades US -- Axios

  • record-breaking snowfall, Sierra Nevada Mountains
  • major interstates closes
  • Northstar California Resort picked up fifteen inches since Monday
  • some one-week snowfall totals may eclipse ten feet
  • at UC Berkeley's Central Sierra Snow Lab: 202.1 inches have fallen since December, making it the snowiest such month on record there; third-snowiest month of all time

Back to the Bakken

WTI: closes at $76.01

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3213566750

Three new permits, #38725 - #38727, inclusive:

  • Operator: Slawson
  • Field: Big Bend (Mountrail)
  • Comments: Slawson has permits for two Sauger Federal wells and one Cannonball Federal well, all in SWSW 22-152-91; to be sited 550 FSL and 525 FWL and 625 FWL;

Four permits renewed:

  • Whiting: four State Federal permits in McKenzie County, NENW 16-148-99;

FWIW: I Can Now "Air Drop" Images To Brandon's iPhone With A Single Click -- What A Great Country -- December 28, 2021

FWIW: Landman Offer For Minerals -- December 28, 2021

Reader sent me this random note. Offers from two different landmen for two different holdings:

  • Williams County, section 30-153-99: $6,720 / net mineral acre
  • McKenzie County, section 2-153-101: $6,666.67 / net mineral acre

I replied to the reader that landmen generally offer "xx%" of ultimate likely value. 

Hummers? Here, Hold My Beer -- December 28, 2021

The Mercedes-Benz Zetros, link here:

  • introduced in 2008
  • off-road truck for extreme conditions
  • designed to be compatible with the USAF C-130 Hercules a/c -- wow!
  • also fits standard German railway carriage
  • although normally used as a truck, the Zetros has also been put to work as an off-road tractor unit in the middle east

Also here:

Clearing Out The In-Box -- December 28, 2021


  • flashback, Joe Biden's chief of stiff, June 24, 2020: "I've been saying since March, 2020, that we can't beat Covid with an "articles of confederation" response. We need a national government .... solution. Donald Trump won't use it to beat this killer disease.....
  • now, Joe Biden: "There is no federal solution. This gets solved at a state level."
    • Dr Fauci's head just exploded
  • NYC accounts for 25% of all active Covid cases currently in US (it was either NY or NYC, I forget which; doesn't matter; I don't live in either)

Whimpering end to the madness. Link here. If link breaks, short video of --

  • Joe Biden calling it quits with regard to Covid
  • leaving DC for DE
  • no mask

Lessons learned, link here.

Can LNG tankers "turn on a dime"? You be the judge. Link here.

: in free-fall? Or simply a return to the 200-day average?

Logistics: link to The WSJ --

  • rail will surge;
  • end of "just in time" delivery
  • retail takes a page from "mom-and-pop": stockpile and keep the pantry full; this is a tectonic shift in retail ordering, how "stuff" is stored; where "stuff" is stored

First group "financial / economic" indicators:

  • 10-Year Treasury: link here. 1.46%. Down.
  • DXY: link here. 96.13. Yawn.
  • Silver: link  here. Right now, for me, this is most interesting as I get ready to buy some more silver. $23.225. Up 1.035.
  • CBOE volatility index: link here. 18.12. Up 2.5%. Yawn

Lego: top sellers. On my wish list:

The Fed: oh, by the way, the Fed won't raise rates three times in 2022 -- it's an election years. One and done, Perhaps two and through, But no three-peat.

One Well Coming Off The Confidential List -- WTI At $76+ -- December 28, 2021

Spare capacity / peak oil: Russia seen missing its May target for pre-pandemic oil output. Reuters. Russia is unlikely to hit its May target of pre-pandemic oil output levels due to a lack of spare production capacity but could do so later in the year, analysts and company sources said on Tuesday.

  • December output 10.9 mln bpd, on par with November
  • Novak has said output to return to pre-crisis level by May
  • companies lack spare production capacity

Covid-19: amazing how fast CNBC jumps on bandwagon congratulating Joe Biden ("there is not a federal solution") and the CDC ("cutting the quarantine time in half, from ten days to five days") and professional sports, NBA and NFL ("test only if symptomatic"). I've never seen so many smiling faces on CNBC.

Logistics: end of "just in time" delivery philosophy. 

Investing: trucking vs rail -- rail will be the huge winner going forward.

Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3213566750

Tuesday, December 28, 2021: 85 for the month, 114 for the quarter, 340 for the year:

  • 36996, conf, CLR, LCU Ralph Federal 8-27H,

RBN Energy: Qatar stresses scale in new round of LNG expansion

Among the 21 countries able to liquefy methane and export LNG, Australia, Qatar, and the U.S. are the hands-down leaders, holding more than half the world’s liquefaction capacity among them. For now, Australia holds the top position but its capacity buildout is all but complete. While a number of liquefaction projects are planned Down Under, only one has reached the final investment decision (FID) stage in 2021, and it’s relatively small. Future growth seems much more likely to come from the two other big guns. Developers in the U.S. are cautiously thawing the plans for LNG projects they put on ice in mid-2020, when global natural gas prices slumped along with economies during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. And in February, Qatar, which was runner-up to Australian capacity until it slipped to third place due to recent U.S. additions, took FID on the first of two supersized projects to expand its LNG capacity. In today’s RBN blog, we discuss Qatar’s expansion plans and how they relate to developments elsewhere.